For several years, hospitals have embraced UV lights as an infection control technique for their patient rooms, intensive care units, and operating rooms. They use large, industrial-grade machines to disinfect rooms. Ultraviolet lights can be mobile machine components, whether human-controlled or robotic that disinfect surfaces. Additionally, they can be incorporated in air-conditioning, heating, and ventilation systems or otherwise positioned with airflows to decontaminate indoor air. However, ultraviolet portals that are meant to disinfect people as they enter indoor spaces are potentially hazardous and ineffective.
What is UVC Light?
UV light is a type of light invisible to the human eye. It exists on the electromagnetic spectrum between radio waves, visible light, and X-rays. Our daily exposure time to low UV light levels from the sun’s rays varies, even though much of the ultraviolet energy is absorbed by the ozone layer. UV light wavelengths are divided into UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C.
How does UVC Light work?
Cellular RNA and DNA absorb most energy from short wavelength UVC light. This damages nucleic acids and prevents microorganisms from infecting and reproducing. The absorption of UVC energy creates new bonds between nucleotides, forming dimers – double bonds. Dimerization of molecules, especially thymine, is the most common type of damage sustained by ultraviolet-c light in microorganisms. Thymine dimers form in the DNA of bacteria and viruses thereby preventing reproduction and the ability to infect.
UV Lights vs. Other Sterilization Methods
As mentioned earlier, there are three UV rays categories: UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C. UV-C uses short-wavelength ultraviolet-c radiation that is harmful to microorganisms, making them germicidal. UV-A and UV-B rays, on the other hand, have a longer wavelength than UV-C hence use long-wavelength ultraviolet radiation (UV radiation), thus not germicidal. UVC’s effectiveness depends on its wavelength and energy. Having the shortest wavelength and highest energy, UVC rays are capable of killing bacteria and viruses, also referred to as healthcare-associated pathogens.
UVC rays are highly effective in UV sterilization and disinfection since they destroy the molecular bonds which hold together the DNA of bacteria and viruses, including ‘superbugs’ that have developed a stronger resistance to antibiotics.
Powerful UVC light has been and is habitually used to disinfect medical devices, surgical tools, and hospital rooms. UVC light can effectively sterilize difficult-to-clean nooks and crannies. Additionally, UVC light works by destroying the DNA of harmful pathogens that makes it effective against superbugs.
However, this broad-spectrum light is also a health hazard – related to illnesses such as cataracts and skin cancer. Therefore, human beings cannot be in the operating room when it is utilized. Conversely, recent studies reveal that narrow-spectrum UVC rays kill viruses and bacteria without penetrating the human skin’s outermost cell layer.
Why Should You Use UV Lights for Cleaning Your Home or Office?
UVC energy, unlike UVA and UVB wavelengths, is between 200 and 300 nm, making them germicidal – they are capable of inactivating microorganisms like viruses, protozoa, and bacteria. Studies also reveal that UVC light is effective against all-natural microbiota, Therefore, UVC rays are an effective, chemical-free, and environmentally-friendly technique to prevent microorganisms from reproducing in any environment, particularly in hospitals.
Benefits of Using a UVC-based Disinfection System
UV light has been used for disinfection and sterilization for many years. With technological advancements, particularly in UB bulbs, its smaller size and reliable long lifespan have broadened the field where it can be used. UVC sterilization also known as ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) breaks down certain chemical bonds and scrambles the structure of RNA, DNA, and proteins hindering microorganisms from replicating. Thus, UV energy can be used to disinfect the air, water, surgical instruments, computers, toys, fruits, vegetables, and various high-touch surfaces.
Every UV sterilization or disinfection technique has its own merits and demerits and below are some of the benefits of using a UVC-based disinfection system.
- UV sterilization is a chemical-free, environmentally-friendly, and effective process and leaves no residue behind.
- UV rays are convenient to use and no chemicals are necessary.
- It can kill all types of microorganisms, including drug-resistant bacteria.
- UV disinfection does not require any transportation, storage, or handling of corrosive or toxic chemicals.
- No-touch automated UV disinfection or sterilization eliminates human error in the sterilization process.
Common Misconceptions about the Effectiveness of UV Light
Killing viruses and bacteria using UV light is particularly effective since it kills germs irrespective of drug resistance and without corrosive chemicals. Additionally, it is effective against all germs, even newly emerging strains of the pathogen(s).
Besides its strong sterilization and disinfection abilities, certain misconceptions are surrounding the effectiveness of UV light as a sterilizing agent.
- UVC is hazardous to human beings. Therefore, sterilization is often done using a UV lamp with protective shields. So, when cleaning your home or office, you should avoid direct exposure, direct contact, or prolonged exposure to UVC, particularly your eyes and skin.
- Other techniques of terminal disinfection introduce additional chemicals or human error into the cleaning procedure.
- UV has a major limit. It only works in its light path and can be blocked by objects. Thus, you need to ascertain that what you want to disinfect is directly in line with ultraviolet light. To minimize this problem, consider using several UVC lamps to generate UV irradiation from different angles.
- Unlike continuous UVC light, pulsed xenon UV light is proven to be a less effective disinfection technique.
- UVC disinfection or ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) causes too much damage to DNA, RNA, and proteins, hence, it cannot be used for biomedical products.
Trusted Residential and Commercial Sterilization Services in Los Angeles
UVC disinfection and sterilization are fast services and do not require hours of labor. Having your home and office clean to enable you to work and operate on regular hours can be a hassle. Therefore it is better to enlist the help of the most trusted residential and commercial UV sterilization services in Los Angeles, CA. Presto Emergency Repair works off hours to warranty the disinfection and decontamination of your home as well as office. We utilize medical-grade equipment to kill germs – bacteria, viruses, and mold. After having court service completed in your home or office, our staff recommends that you maintain a clean environment.